The aureus is one of several Roman denominations. In an earlier post I wrote about the denarius and the sestertius. The aureus was regularly minted from the 1st century BCE to the beginning of the 4th century CE. At that time, it was replaced by the solidus. Aureus means "made of gold" and its original weight was about 8 grams.
Initially, the aureus was valued at 25 denarii and 100 sestertii. since it was made of gold, there was some debasement as its weight was decreased, however its value remained similar. As an example of inflation, by 301 CE, the aureus was valued at 833 denarii, by 324, the same aureus was worth 4350 denarii. In 337, one solidus (the coin that followed the aureus, also made of gold) was worth 275000 denarii and finally, by 356, one solidus was worth 4600000 denarii.
Today, the aureus is highly sought and it goes in auctions between US$ 500000 and US$ 900000.
Other Posts about ancient Roman Currency
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